The word calling, purpose, or mission is so final. It belongs on parchment, notarized by seraphim and God. It’s permanently pinned down. It’s a noun. And a calling is a verb. A calling is a way of giving yourself permission to unravel into the white hot vortex below your societally sanctioned identity. It’s about learning how to love yourself as you never have before. This is not a job description. It’s a party, an act of forgiveness. And a homecoming.
Students and clients often ask me to help them find their calling. What they really want is something to put on a business card, maybe with a logo. A phrase to validate their life. Something to explain themselves to an aunt in New Jersey who never will read Rumi or Joseph Campbell.
I’ll tell you what I tell them. Relax. Throw out your need for a definition. This is not that moment. You wouldn’t ask an embryo to select her major in college or apply for an internship. You’d let her grow toes first. You’d let her play tag. Let yourself grow toes.
Find your breath. Lean in to your heart’s leanings. Observe the temptation that is alive within you now. Find your feelings. Find your yearning. You may yearn to drive across the country to see cactus, ocean, stars and cheap box motels. You may yearn to soak your cracked feet in warm rose water and cry for the friends you lost 10 years ago. As you relax, needs will flutter up. Communications will arise. Messages will be sent.
I know the Type A’s are grasping already. (Okay, okay, what are the 10 steps to relaxing as quickly as possible, so that I can get on with it and stop relaxing and start making gobs of money?) I am of this stock. We often want to know how to seize control. But this is not that journey. This is a time of letting go of control, to usher in the clarity and sovereignty of the soul.
I only know one step towards finding your calling.
It is profoundly this. Stop judging yourself. Love yourself unconditionally.
Start now. Accept any inclination, knowing the way to begin will always find you.
You may think this is unwise. You may think you need more than this.
I don’t care what you think. A calling doesn’t come from your thoughts.
That which calls to you comes from your subterranean self, the one who speaks in sensations, emotion, spaciousness and velvet suggestion. It comes from the periphery, like a wink from the moon. It comes from the wells of surprise as well as the angels who wipe their boots with ordinary mud. It comes from feelings, wonder and wholeness. It comes from saying yes. It comes from accepting numbness or anger or desires that perplex or unnerve the self that has always maintained control. It comes spontaneously, in invisible micro-shifts, in odd bursts of time, and bears no relation to the schedule you set for yourself.
It comes from giving up.
It is already here. You are already empowered. You are already assigned. You only need to learn how to love yourself completely.